Dirk Braeckman, ECHTZEIT #067-24//AP, 2024 ©Dirk Braeckman

Introduction: Four writers in 'Echtzeit'

From the editors

30 mei 2024 • 2 min

Writers Alara Adilow, Yousra Benfquih, Peter Verhelst and Niña Weijers wrote a literary audio piece to accompany Braeckman’s exhibition at FOMU called Echtzeit, running from March 29, 2024, until January 19, 2025. They met with Dirk Braeckman in his atelier and intuitively chose the images or installations that spoke to them most. Their prose and poetry add a new layer of perception and invite you to slow down and take a closer look. You can listen to their reading of the texts in the ‘Echtzeit’ exhibition. Here, on Trigger, we publish their responsive texts, in relation to one image, as separate contributions. Each one opens up different worlds, while being in the presence of that one image.


(More on the exhibition)

Dirk Braeckman (BE, °1958) has explored the medium of photography in sombre/dark and understated images, for over forty years. The ‘Echtzeit’ exhibition presents a dialogue between Braeckman and the FOMU collection. It shows the museum pieces personally selected by the artist, and also the new work that these inspired. Braeckman appropriates the pieces from the collection and the viewer experiences them through the artist’s camera, eyes and hands.

Braeckman is interested in photographs with imperfections, in empty interiors, everyday objects, evocative places or objects that leave much to the imagination. He has chosen from the FOMU collection functional photographs, made without artistic ambition. He recognised certain qualities and commonalities with his own work in these atypical images.

Rephotography and experimentation have always formed part of Braeckman’s artistic practice, though the trajectory to the final image is always different. For the FOMU exhibition, he worked for the first time with an existing collection of photos. Braeckman took photos of the chosen images and printed them. He then over-painted, smeared or cut holes in the prints. He photographed the results and processed them further in his analogue and digital darkroom.

The original meaning of the photographs has been altered through the removal of context, the change in format and the addition of titles. A functional document is transformed into a piece of art, a timeless visual poem that raises more questions than it answers.

‘Echtzeit’ refers to Braeckman’s bridging of the past and present. Simultaneously and in real-time, three perspectives: of the original photographer, of Braeckman and of us, the viewers come together.